Exploring Spirituality in the context of an evolving universe, an endangered earth, in the Christian tradition.

  • sabbatical celebrating easter
    Celebrating Easter

Dates for the next Sabbatical courses are:

Spring 2021:
17th March to 14th May 2021

Autumn 2021:

5th September to 12th November 2021


An Tairseach’s ten-week residential sabbatical programme runs every Spring and Autumn.

Applications are welcome from anyone with an interest and commitment to the content of the programme.

The programme includes:

  • Becoming familiar with our evolution over 14 billion years as discovered by contemporary science.
  • Exploring its implications for understanding our place in the universe.
  • Exploring the theological implications of this new cosmology.
  • Listening to the wisdom of the mystics.
  • Reflecting on themes from the Celtic Tradition.
  • Examining our images of God.
  • Critiquing our present world order and exploring possibilities for a sustainable lifestyle.

The programme is delivered through:

  • Lectures and group sessions led by the An Tairseach team and guest lecturers.
  • Art, movement, ritual, prayer, nature walks, guided meditation, walking the labyrinth and time alone.
  • Visits to sacred places such as Glendalough.
  • Study using a specialised library of books, periodicals, DVD’s and internet resources.
  • Guest lecturers include: Diarmuid O’Murchu, Philip John Newell, Niamh Brennan, Deirdre Ni Chinnéide and many more

An Tairseach’s Sabbatical Programme is a residential programme run in the Ecology Centre.  The Centre is a peaceful and tranquil building surrounded by spacious grounds and the 70 acre organic farm which overlooks Wicklow Bay. The Centre has lecture rooms, a meditation room, an art room, the chapel, a library, a kitchen and dining room, a therapeutic treatment room, common rooms and administrative offices.  Guest accommodation is in single en-suite rooms with shared or self-contained self-catering facilities.

An Tairseach is only five minutes walk from Wicklow Town Centre which has food and clothes shops, as well as the possibility of long walks beside the Vartry river and the sea.  There is a swimming pool in Wicklow Town as well as other sports facilities.  It is a half an hour drive to Glendalough and the beautiful Wicklow mountains.

We have silenced too many of those wonderful voices of the universe that spoke to us of the grand mysteries of existence. Thomas Berry

Past Participants Testimonials

“It was the best thing I have ever done in my life! You’ll never be the same again.”

“I could never have anticipated how crossing the threshold of An Tairseach would bring me home to self and to the God of this evolving universe.”

“As a member of the Dominican family, I am awed, inspired, and challenged by the way my Irish Sisters are preaching and promoting the Gospel that is rooted in the Cosmic Story – full of implications for thinking, acting and believing in ways that contribute to the health of Earth as well as discovering Christian faith tradition and its practice, anew.”

“In many wonderful and creative ways theory and praxis are seamlessly woven in the design of the sabbatical programme at An Tairseach.”

“The programme in An Tairseach exceeded my expectations with the wealth of readings, presentations, experiences and opportunities to explore deeply a new way of understanding the spirituality which is emerging in each one of us.”


How do I apply?

Please contact us at for application and reference forms.

Are all meals provided?

No, one meal per day is provided. This is served at 12.30pm on Monday to Friday (excluding Irish bank holidays). We use fresh produce from our organic farm as we and the food is beautifully prepared by a Cordon Bleu trained chef who never fails to please.  There is always a hot main course and desert with tea/coffee.

Are there self catering facilities?

Yes, you will either have a shared kitchen with a few others or a self contained kitchen within your room.

How much does it cost?

The cost of the sabbatical is €4900. This includes your accommodation, all workshops and talks, entrance fees to places of interest included in the programme and the main meal served in the day.

The fee does not include the food you wish to buy for your breakfast, evening meal and weekends or refreshments while out on excursions.

Are there any bursaries available?

Yes, we sometimes have bursaries available for people who are genuine in their desire to participate and do not have the funds.  We ask for a small report from those receiving the bursary as well as a commitment to share what they have learnt with others.  Please enquire at for more information.

I live near An Tairseach, can I apply as a non-resident student?

Yes, we would welcome your application and if successful,  you would be offered the programme at a reduced fee of €2400.

Is the accommodation on site at An Tairseach?

Yes, we have capacity for 18 students to stay in single rooms on site on the beautiful grounds of An Tairseach.  If the accommodation is full, we sometimes rent a house in a nearby town and accommodate a further 3 to 5 students who travel in and out each day.  You will be contacted and asked if this is something you would like to consider should this become necessary.

I am an international student, how do I get from Dublin Airport to An Tairseach?

Bus 133 is a direct bus from Dublin Airport to Wicklow Town and runs every hour.  The link to bus times is here:

Stay on the bus until the last stop (Wicklow Monument).  We are a short walk from the bus stop which is uphill.  If you have heavy bags we can arrange to collect you from the bus stop.

What is the weather like in Ireland?

For many international students, Ireland is cold!  Both the Autumn and Spring programmes bring changing seasons and some beautiful sunny but cool days with crisp blue skies.  There are also days of constant rain and dampness!  An Tairseach is a large building and while we do our best to keep you warm, we are an Ecology Centre and do not overheat the building. Please make sure you bring plenty of layers, warm clothes and waterproof clothing and footwear for the outdoors.